Wednesday, July 14, 2021

One of the Stranger Titles.

I was answering to one of this blog's readers and I mentioned the event of the Soviet fishermen saving the crew of the US Alfa-Foxtrot 586 P-3 Orion when it went down in October of 1978 off the coast of Kamchatka. Soviet fishermen saved the lives of the crew of the American plane and they spent few days in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky hospital not far from my school before being sent back to the United States. But the title of the article is a question by an American plane's co-pilot Edward Caylor to the Russian fishing vessel captain Alexander Arbuzov:

-What was your first question to Alexander?

-I asked him, ”Alexander, why during difficult times between Brezhnev and Carter and our countries, why would you search for and save U.S. military spies?” He said: “Because we are both men of the sea and I must come for you.” Can you say it any better than that?

This answer says it all, I cannot imagine American sailors not coming to help. You can also read Reader's Digest account of those events here.

As Kursk tragedy demonstrated, these were US and Royal Navies which offered assistance immediately once it became clear that Kursk was in distress. Then, in 2005 the help WAS accepted and the US Navy sent urgently its equipment to save Russian mini-sub in distress. 

The U.S. Navy is sending unmanned vehicles to aid attempts to rescue seven crew members of a Russian mini-submarine trapped under the Pacific Ocean. The sub went down in 625 feet of water after snagging its propeller.
The operation was a resounding success and the crew was saved. I don't want to go here all sappy and sentimental but, short of a real war, I cannot see how can one deny help to those in mortal danger. Especially when you can help them. That is why the title of the article is so strange--but even in war, you save those who survived. Albeit there was one occasion, which was described in detail in Igor Kurdin, Alan White and Peter Hutchausen's bestseller Hostile Waters, when this covenant almost got disregarded. But in general, it is a human thing above all--help those in distress, even when they are your enemies. In general, to understand what I am talking about, watch a superb TV movie with San Neil in it--Submerged. Especially listen to a conversation when main protagonist (Sam Neil) recalls what expression he could see on the face of one deceased young sailor from the sunk submarine and what happened to his fingers when he tried to open a locked hatch. The movie is entirely based on real events. It is 20 years old, the time when real heroes, such as  Vice-Admiral (Lieutenant Commander in the movie) Charles Momsen were  still praised in Hollywood.

P.S. I always felt dumbfounded why two distinguished Captains (in Russian--Captains First Rank) with stellar naval careers, one, Igor Kurdin, a CO of several Russia's Strategic Missile Submarine, including final command of the most advanced at that time SSBN of the Delta IV-class (pr. 667 BDRM), another, Peter Hutchausen, US Navy's combat officer, intelligence professional and, finally, US Senior Naval Attache to Moscow, had to go to a literary agent who never served a day in his life and was writing wet dreams BS for the consumption of fanboys, to run a book about K-219 tragedy by him. I, of course, am talking about late Tom Clancy. I never made a secret about it and communicated this to Igor Kurdin. He said I can also join submariners club, but I declined))) We, SWOs are free-spirited. I kid, I kid.   

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